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Showing posts from March, 2013

Sermon Wrap-Up for March 24

Sunday Morning was our Choir Presentation, so there is no video from that. Here is the evening sermon:Audio LinkVideo Embed: Outline:I. Did Jesus expect to be arrested that night? A. Yes: Note what occurs during the Last Supper, vv. 27-35 B. Yes: Note what Matthew says in v. 56: this is the fulfillment of promise C. Yes: Note what Jesus said in Mark 10:45: He came to give His life II. Was the life of Jesus tragically shortened? A. No: death on the Cross when it happened was His plan B. No: cannot shorten the life of the Eternal One 1. John 1 2. Hebrews 10:20 III. Did Jesus expect the disciples to be arrested with Him? A. No: He knew He would be abandoned B. No: Judas’ presence to betray Him shows this IV. Could anything have prevented His arrest? A. The Hands of Men 1. A true commitment to justice 2. Peter with his sword B. The Hosts of Heaven 1. More than a dozen legions of angels a) That is a lot of angels b) 12 legions of Romans=at least 72,000 c) The Romans used only 4 to conquer a…

Book: The Story of the Voice

Back some 3 years ago, I did a review of The Voice: New Testament. I liked the style of the translation, but had some reservations about the decisions that were made. Since then, there have been some updates and revisions—and not that I think they listened to me, personally, but at least one of my criticisms is now invalid in light of the updates. That would be the one of how John the Baptist was titled.Some of my other questions and critiques receive a great response in today’s book, The Story of the Voice. This little book provides the background on the creation of this very different Bible translation.First, there is the background story of the major movers in forming the Ecclesia Bible Society. It’s not major biographies, just a few vignettes highlighting the key individuals involved. This section is enlightening as to motivations, which is helpful. The question is rightly asked “Why another English Bible when there are whole languages without one?” and this portion helps answer t…

Obligatory Foolishness: Romans 1

We finished Acts in our Through the Whole Bible Series. Obviously, much more could be said about every inch of that book, but the goal is not to exhaustively plumb the depths of each nuance of Scripture. The goal is to take a look through and find high points or overlooked subtleties along the way. At some point, hopefully soon, I’ll do a separate post with some recommended resources to dig deeper on the passages that have been covered in this series.I will admit, though, that I reminded you of that background for a reason. Starting with today, I am going to cover Romans in the same manner. Romans is a beautiful book. In all honesty, just about every theological concept necessary to the Christian faith is expressed in Romans—we need the whole Bible for the whole picture, but Romans makes for a really nice framework to fill in for that puzzle.And Romans 1 is dense. There is enough to wrestle with in the opening word of the letter to keep us busy for a week: Paul. His story and personal…

Holistic Worship: Leviticus 24

Leviticus is fast nearing its end, but there are some hurdles to clear as we wrap this up. Leviticus 24 continues the overall theme of the third book of Moses: how to live all of life in obedient worship of the One True God.Leviticus 24 gives us a paired set of worship instructions. Opening with the directions on the weekly bread to be placed in the sanctuary area and connecting that with the oil that is to be kept burning in the area, Moses speaks to the idea of a sacred space for the Israelites. The idea of “sacred space” is not exclusive to the Judaic heritage of Leviticus, nor only to the Christian ethos that develops from it. In reality, nearly every religion has a component that suggests designating areas that are places for worship. Even atheists have places that they gather to remind and reinforce their beliefs.It is of value, perhaps more so now than ever before. Consider how much life encroaches on every square inch of us these days. There’s mail stacked here, the phone is r…

Sermon Wrap-Up for March 17

We went out yesterday afternoon and offered to change smoke detector batteries or install smoke detectors around town. We also invited everyone to a cookout at the church last night. While we talked to a lot of people, we didn’t have anyone take us up on dinner. However, I think it was good and we used up a lot of batteries and smoke detectors.Morning Sermon Audio is hereVideo is here: And here is the outline:The Law of Liberty: James 1:19-27 I. The Law of Liberty      A. Reflects what is inside of us      B. Is the guideline for how we live II. Religious Law      A. Controls outer actions      B. Fails to change the heart      C. Often seeks more from others  III. The Law of the Word      A. Must be heard      B. Must be done      C. Serves those who are deemed worthless by society           A. Widows/Orphans           B. Slaves/oppressed      D. Self-control           A. Emotions           B. Words

Book: Passion by Mike McKinley

Today’s book is brought to you by Cross Focused Media.The book this week is Passion: How Christ’s Final Day Changes Your Every Day. It’s by Mike McKinley, pastor of Guilford Baptist Church in Virginia. As a pastor who wishes he could write a book, I’m marginally jealous of Pastor McKinley, but I’ll try not to be too picky in my review.Passion is focused on Luke’s account of the last days of Jesus’ life, going from the Last Supper through the Resurrection. I will not give you all the details of that. Grab your Bible or kick over to BibleGateway and read Luke 22. Do that and come back.McKinley has taken a sermon series and converted it into book form. This is the first strength of the text. Passion reflects not a cold academic parsing the nth degree of the Greek verb, though there is value in that, but instead the concern of a pastor who stands before a congregation every week. The pastoral influence in Passion runs throughout the book. McKinley is concerned with the implications of the…

Unhindered: Acts 28

We’ve reached the end of the book of Acts. Paul and company are shipwrecked on the island of Malta at the beginning. By the end, Paul is in his own “rented quarters,” where he spends a definite time of two years. He is likely still under guard (Acts 28:16) which makes this a form of home detention.Yet he nearly did not make it off of Malta. Well, at least that was what the Maltese expected. Back in Acts 28:3-5, Paul is bitten by a snake. The shipwrecked crew, prisoners, and soldiers are gathering firewood and Paul gathers up an asp in the process. The locals expect what is referred to on the internet these days as “instant karma” where Paul is immediately treated as he deserves, but brought on by an unexpected means. Mid-Nerd Note:v. 4 refers to “justice.” Or to “Justice” as the goddess of right/wrong and law. It is actually rather difficult to tell from the language, as the same word applies to both the concept and the deity behind it in the Greek-speaking world. Either the Maltese e…

Take the Rest of the Day Off: Leviticus 23

The end of Leviticus is in sight, but there are a few things to clear up. While Leviticus gets a fairly well-deserved reputation as a book of rules, we do not need to miss some of the points that are rules, but have a bit of a different flavor to them.Leviticus 23 is one of those chapters. The primary focus here are religious feasts and festivals, starting with the frequent weekly and moving to the regular annual observances for the Israelites. Without attempting to deal with the Christological significance of the Day of Atonement here, because that is better handled by others and a major feature of most Christian commentaries on Leviticus, let’s look at the whole situation. First, you have the weekly Sabbaths decreed by God. Then you see various annual feasts, festivals, and observances prescribed. These include the Passover, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Booths. It may be tempting to argue that the Passover and the Day of Atonement are more important, because more effort is…

March 11: Proverbs 11:24-26

Taking a look at Proverbs 11:24-26, with an emphasis on 11:25, let’s consider this for a few moments. The wisdom here is that stockpiling without sharing leads to poverty. Notice that each of these verses reflects the destruction of wealth through hoarding:Proverbs 11:24 and 26 speak of the one who withholds. The contrast here is between those who hoard up and those who share. The sharing does not even have to be completely sacrificial: 11:26 definitely shows the idea of selling what you have stockpiled, not giving it away. The idea is certainly divorced from high-profit speculation and is instead based in an economy where a little increase year-over-year through hard work was to be valued more than an instant profit.If we take this and compare it to our modern American Economy, what do we find? Oftentimes, we find that our system is divorced from the Biblical idea of wisdom. We want the profit right now. Certainly, the idea of slow accumulation and patient distribution is not general…

Sermon Wrap-Up for March 10

Here is the final review of the sermons from Almyra Baptist Church, March 10, 2013:Morning Sermon: Isaiah 55Audio Link (note: the audio link will open a page in a new window, where you can just click the “play” button to hear the sermon)Video Embed: Do I always start on the piano side? I think I do… Outline:March 10 AM: Isaiah 55I. Our DangerA. ProsperityB. WantII. Our NeedA. Real NourishmentB. Real ReliefIII. Our HopeA. The offer of graceB. The speaking GodIV. Our WitnessA. To us: the heavensB. To all: the WordC. From us: as joyful peopleV. Our ResponseA. SeekB. RepentC. WorshipEvening Sermon: Philippians 2:12-13Audio Link is here. Outline here:March 10 PM: Philippians 2:12-13I. Obedience: Not about pleasing othersII. Obedience: Not about earning salvationIII. Obedience: Not about making God's will happenIV. Obedience: About God working in youV. Obedience: About God working through you

Stop Wasting Time: Arkansas State Legislature

To: The esteemed Representatives and Senators in the Arkansas State Legislature.From: Your constituents.Re: Certain Pending Bills.Most of us Arkansans are good with the laws that have come to pass in the past few months. Even knowing that the pro-life bills will probably be stricken by a court challenge, especially since I doubt the Attorney General of Arkansas will actually make an effort to defend them, most of us do not view those as a waste of time. (In fact, I’d love to see some of the attorneys in this state that are actually pro-life do the defense of those laws pro bono. Maybe even a few pro-life organizations can help with the cost, so that the “we don’t want to waste state money” excuse goes away.)However, you’re ranging too far afield. If tattoo parlors and such are not subject to the State Health Department verifying the cleanliness of the establishment, then they should be. But bothering with blocking certain procedures? Let’s not get silly, here. Additionally, why do we …

Today in History: March 9, 1862

Today in History, March 9, 1862, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia clashed in a naval battle. (Not a navel battle, as that involves throwing oranges at one another and hoping to hit your opponent in the belly button. Navel battles are used to settle citrus grove disputes in Apopka, Florida.)History remembers this date because it was the first conflict of two metal-armored vessels and it changes the face of naval warfare. The ships get bigger, the armor heavier, and eventually wood ships fade away. The next major change in naval combat really comes at Midway in World War 2 when naval warfare becomes centered on naval aviation. Well, and with the advent of effective submarine warfare, something pioneered by the CSS Hunley, but not truly coming into its own until the World Wars. However, submarine warfare is much more of a one-to-one proposition rather than an all-out battle. Still, respects to the Silent Service folks.I think there is something of greater importance to remember about…

Book: The Connecting Church 2.0

Today’s book review is from Cross-Focused Media and Zondervan Publishing. What can I say about The Connecting Church 2.0? First, I would observe that the “2.0” is not done as a hype statement but as evidence that Randy Frazee has updated and modified his book The Connecting Church. I will confess to this: I never read that one. In all honesty, I had never heard of Randy Frazee before I was emailed this potential book tour.So, first, who is Randy Frazee? He is the senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. That role was initially Max Lucado’s, and now Lucado and Frazee work together, although the general indication is that Frazee handles most of the work. That being said, sometimes old trees produce strong branches and sometimes they rot, so Frazee must of course stand on his own.I think he does a good job of doing so in The Connecting Church 2.0. The essence of the work is an emphasis on moving back from our over-corporate mentality in American churches and moving back…

Happy Birthday Ann!

Around our house, typically four days a year are met with beautifully worded, wonderfully pictured birthday posts.Except there’s five people in this house. One of them doesn’t get the beautifully worded, wonderfully pictured birthday posts. Why?Well, because if there’s anything beautiful and flowing in this house, it’s because Ann Hibbard is the one who is beautiful and flowing, and it just comes from her. Usually, in the amazing interactions with our children or the great things she does, I’m too caught up in wonder to even think about taking a picture.So there’s no real way for me to explain the awesome wonder that my wife is. If you know her, you know how much she does and how wonderful she is. She writes for Home Educating Family, both reviews and columns. She’s one of the behind-the-scenes people trying to minister to Arkansas Baptist minister’s wives, but you’ll rarely see her take any credit for it. She’s frequently the reason church folks put up with me. So, Happy Birthday!

Sermon Wrap-Up for March 3

First of all, we had a guest preacher for Sunday Morning. Ben Browning preached for us on Joshua 1.Here is the audio link and the video: That evening, we were back to me preaching. I was in John 21. There isn’t really an outline to post, but here is the audio link and the video: I definitely enjoyed hearing Ben preach that morning, but Almyrans, don’t get too many funny ideas. He’s got a job in Little Rock and no interest in moving out here to replace me Doug